Disney Preps Vol. 2 of Classic ‘Mickey’ Animated Shorts for Digital Release April 4, Disc June 27

Walt Disney Animation Studios is prepping another volume of classic animated shorts from the Disney vaults.

Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts Vol. 2 will be released for digital purchase on April 4, with a Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on June 27. 

The new collection includes such animated classics as “The Band Concert,” “Pluto’s Sweater” and “Mickey’s Trailer” with an all-new animated interstitials introduction featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, all gathered together to watch a slideshow on some of their hilarious past adventures. 

Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts Vol. 2 debuts as part of the expansive celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary. Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts Vol. 1 arrived on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 7.

The full lineup of shorts for Vol. 2:

  • “The Band Concert”
  • “Pluto’s Sweater”
  • “Mickey’s Trailer”
  • “Pluto and the Gopher”
  • “Mr. Duck Steps Out”
  • “Lonesome Ghosts”
  • “Boat Builders”
  • “Tugboat Mickey”
  • “Winter Storage”
  • “Pluto’s Party”

CEO Bob Iger: Less Is More, Diversity of Content Distribution, Including Home Entertainment, Among New Disney Focuses

Disney CEO Bob Iger is putting a singular focus on operating costs companywide as media companies re-evaluate existing “all-in streaming” business strategies that have led to skyrocketing fiscal losses and cooling subscriber growth, including a $1 billion loss at Disney’s direct-to-consumer digital segment in the most-recent quarter.

Speaking March 9 at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Iger, who prefaced his renewed business outlook by claiming to be bullish on streaming, said the company has to figure out SVOD pricing in order to justify ongoing spending.

Iger in February announced companywide job cuts totaling 7,000 as part of an effort to reduce operating costs by more than $5.5 billion.

Calling streaming video the “ultimate” a-la-carte entertainment proposition, Iger said the ease with which consumers can jump and switch between streaming platforms at minimal or no cost has to be rationalized when it comes to subscription pricing.

“In our zeal to grow global subs, I think we were off in terms of that [too low] pricing strategy, and we’re now starting to learn more about it to adjust accordingly,” he said.

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When asked about the status of Disney’s majority stake ownership of Hulu, and opportunity to buy Comcast’s remaining 33% stake for a minimum $27.5 billion in 2024, Iger said the current “very tricky” economic environment informs Disney’s future plans with Hulu.

“Before we make any big decisions about our level of investment, our commitment to our business, we want to understand where [Hulu] could go,” he said.

In addition to growing digital subscribers across Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Hulu+ Live TV, Iger says renewed focus on platform content spending and distribution has to be put on the table and out of the streaming basket.

Indeed, when David Zaslav became CEO of the new Warner Bros. Discovery media company, he was surprised to find that 60% of the content on HBO Max was not being viewed. That’s a reality apparently not lost on Iger, who abruptly replaced his successor — and big streaming champion — Bob Chapek late last year in part because of ballooning streaming costs and losses.

While admitting Disney+ will not see the “meteoric” subscriber growth experienced upon launch in late 2019, Iger contends the platform remains relatively new in international markets, excluding India, which comprises more than a third of all Disney+ subscribers.

The CEO criticized his predecessor’s business restructuring that he called, “basically a giant revenue-generating division,” that separated distribution, advertising, sales, subscriptions, etc., from content creation, where Iger said all the money was being spent.

“I happen to believe there needs to be a direct connection between what’s being spent and what’s being earned from a revenue perspective,” he said. “It’s all about accountability. It’s about understanding the marketplace, so when you make decisions on spending, it’s tied directly to revenue generation and vice-versa.”

Iger claimed too much was being spent on marketing platforms and not enough on marketing content and programs.

“That needed to be put back together not just for sanity purposes, but also because there are opportunities to reduce expenses,” he said.

“I don’t think it was as efficient as it could have been … or as targeted as it should have been,” he said, in relation to the $3 billion in content spending cuts. “The emphasis needs to be on quality of content, not volume.”

As a result, in addition to delegating operational, marketing and financial responsibilities to business segment senior executives, Iger wants to revisit distributing content across all channels, including legacy home entertainment.

Disney reported a Q1 operating loss of $212 million on revenue of $2.46 billion in its “content sales/licensing and other” segment, in part due to a dearth of home entertainment releases. The decrease in home entertainment results were due to lower unit sales of new release titles, reflecting fewer releases, and catalog titles.

Iger believes the push toward streaming theatrical titles undermined the licensing and retail businesses.

“Home video, at one point as we called it, was extremely lucrative for our company,” Iger said. “We’re looking at all of that [again].”

The CEO believes content can co-exist on traditional distribution platforms and streaming without damaging either due to differing platform audiences.

“It’s already clear to us that the content exclusivity that we felt would be so valuable in growing subscribers was not as valuable as we thought,” Iger said. “While eventually everything will migrate to streaming. We’re not there yet.”

Comcast President ‘Very Happy’ With Pending $27.5 Billion Hulu Stake Sale to Disney, Open to Alternatives

Comcast Corp. president Mike Cavanagh said Comcast is open to options for Hulu, although a sale to Disney still remains viable.

Comcast President Mike Cavanagh

Comcast and Disney have a 2019 agreement in place whereby Disney would acquire the cable operator’s remaining 33% stake in Hulu for a minimum $27.5 billion acquisition price in early 2024. Disney owns majority operating control following its $71 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Since that time, Comcast Corp. chairman/CEO Brian Roberts has expressed interest in buying out Disney’s majority stake, while returning Disney chief executive Bob Iger now says purchasing Comcast’s stake is not a high priority.

Speaking March 8 on the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Cavanagh reiterated that the media giant likes where it sits in the M&A discussion.

“We’re very happy if [a Disney sale is] the way it turns out; it would be great,” Cavanagh said. “But, if there’s something different that comes along, we would have to consider things. We won’t do something [different] unless it’s better in our minds.”

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Disney Sets March 28 Digital Home Release Date for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

The Walt Disney Co. has set a March 28 home release date for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which will initially be available only for digital purchase from most major digital retailers, including Vudu, Redbox On Demand, Prime Video and Apple TV.

A DVD and Blu-ray Disc release date has not yet been announced, but is expected to follow.

The belated sequel to 2009’s original Avatar is the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, earning more than $2.2 billion worldwide ($607.7 million domestic) and receiving four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

The film’s digital release will offer 4K Ultra HD quality and immersive Dolby Atmos audio. The release includes three hours of never-before-seen bonus content featuring the filmmakers, cast and crew.

In Avatar: The Way of Water, director Cameron returns to the world of Pandora more than a decade after the events of the first film. The sequel launches the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. Audiences also are introduced to new Na’vi cultures and a range of exotic sea creatures that populate the majestic oceans.

Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. New cast members include Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion.

Bonus features include:

  • “Inside Pandora’s Box” — a series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema)
  • “Building the World of Pandora” —  Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the hard-tech world of the RDA.
  • “Capturing Pandora” — Cameron’s approach to performance-capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
  • “The Undersea World of Pandora” — Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
  • “The Challenges of Pandora’s Waters” — Cameron tackles the challenge of performance-capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
  • “Pandora’s Returning Characters” — Cameron reunites with his returning cast to discuss the evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • “Pandora’s Next Generation” — Viewers are introduced to the young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • “Spider’s Web” — Cameron introduced the human character of Spider (portrayed by young actor Jack Champion) into the fabric of Pandora, an introduction that created a host of technological challenges on set.
  • “Becoming Na’vi” — The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
  • “The Reef People of Pandora” — A look at how the Metkayina reef clan was developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture — with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life — all a result of living off the ocean.
  • “Bringing Pandora to Life” — Once Cameron completed his virtual production process, every sequence was turned over to Weta FX to bring Pandora to life — with significant advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
  • “The RDA Returns to Pandora” — Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora — in concept design and with practical builds.
  • “The New Characters of Pandora” — Viewers are introduced to the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
  • “The Sounds of Pandora” — Hear how Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
  • “New Zealand: Pandora’s Home” — The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the New Zealand crew, on making the film.


Also included are the screen tests that won the young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water; a look at the stunt team that did everything from racing underwater on ilus and flying the skies on ikrans to maneuvering RDA speed boats; a virtual visit to the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar films; and an inside look at The Troupe, whose members played dozens of roles in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Tops Disc Sales for Third Week

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was No. 1 for a third week on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Feb. 25.

The comic book movie outsold the week’s No. 2 title, Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, by a three-to-one-margin. Of course, while Wakanda Forever has been available on disc only for three weeks, Maverick has been on shelves for 17 weeks.

No. 3 on both charts was another recent superhero movie release, Warner’s Black Adam, which had been the top seller for four of the five weeks before Wakanda Forever‘s release. (Maverick was No. 1 for nine weeks before Black Adam‘s release).

The one title since the beginning of November to top the charts that isn’t Maverick or a comic book adaptation with “Black” in its name, Universal’s Violent Night, was No. 5 on the overall disc sales chart, and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart. It was the top seller the last week of January, breaking up Black Adam‘s reign.

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No. 4 on both sales charts, down two spots from the previous week, was Universal Pictures’ The Fabelmans, director Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical story of a teenage filmmaker dealing with family problems.

The No. 5 Blu-ray seller was Warner’s The Batman, which was No. 11 on the overall disc sales chart.

The week’s top new release, at No. 7 overall but No. 26 on the Blu-ray chart, was Lionsgate’s The Old Way, the first Western to star Nicolas Cage. It had 29% of its total sales come from Blu-ray Disc sales formats.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 26 had The Old Way at No. 1, pushing Wakanda Forever to No. 2.

Screen Media’s The Locksmith dropped to No. 3, followed by Cinedigm’s Devil’s Peak at No. 4, and Black Adam at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-25-23
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-26-23
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-25-23
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-25-23
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-25-23
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 2-27-23

Analyst: Disney May Be Motivated to Sell Hulu Ownership Stake

Wall Street investment firm Citi contends Disney may be motivated to sell its majority ownership stake in Hulu (rather than buy Comcast’s minority stake) in a move aimed at reducing Disney’s $1.1 billion Q1 direct-to-consumer operating loss, which included a decrease in Hulu results.

In 10 months, under a fiscal arrangement, Comcast can force Disney to buy its 33% stake in Hulu for at least $27.5 billion, or Disney can force Comcast to sell its stake. The situation emerged following Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019.

Jason Bazinet

For Comcast, acquiring Disney’s 66% stake (or another 33% for less than $27.5 billion and majority control) would be a costly “win,” but it could also add 48 million Hulu paying subscribers to NBCUniversal’s Peacock paid sub base of 20 million.

“We believe [Disney] is less interested in a mass market DTC offering,” analyst Jason Bazinet wrote in a note. He attributed this thinking to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s fiscal call comments and related media statements that the company would refocus efforts on core brands and franchises.

On Feb. 19, Iger, in an interview with CNBC, said “everything was on the table” in regards to Hulu’s future with Disney.

“We are intent on reducing our debt,” Iger said. “I’ve talked about general entertainment being undifferentiated. I’m not going to speculate if we’re a buyer or a seller of it. But I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment. We’re going to look at it very objectively.”

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Bazinet said he believes a Comcast majority purchase of Hulu would accelerate the cable operator’s DTC operating scale “with potential financial synergies.”

“[It could] accelerate [Comcast’s] push into live streaming aggregation, and improve its strategic positioning within the media category,” he wrote.

Comcast chairman/CEO Brian Roberts, speaking last September at a Wall Street event, hinted the media company would be interested in acquiring Disney’s stake.

“Hulu is a phenomenal business,” Roberts said. “Its scale is fantastic. I believe if Hulu was put up for sale, Comcast would be interested. So would a lot of other tech and media companies. You would have a robust auction.”

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Remains No. 1 on DVD and Blu-ray Sales Charts; ‘Fabelmans’ No. 2

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever remained No. 1 for a second week on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Feb. 18.

The week’s top new release, selling about 27% as many copies as the superhero movie, was director Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans, which was No. 2 on both charts. The Oscar-nominated film tells the story of the family life of a teenager who wants to grow up to become a filmmaker.

Another big new release for the week, Disney’s animated Strange World, debuted at No. 4 on both charts.

No. 3 on both charts was Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, while No. 5 was Warner’s Black Adam.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 64% of Fabelmans sales, with 40% from the 4K combo pack and 24% from regular Blu-ray. For Strange World, 52% of unit sales came from Blu-ray formats — 38% from regular Blu-ray and 14% the 4K combo pack.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Feb. 19 had Wakanda Forever in the top spot for the first time. Screen Media’s The Locksmith was No. 2, and The Fabelmans was No. 3. 

The previous week’s top rental, Universal’s Violent Night, slid to No. 4, while Black Adam was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-18-23
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 2-19-23
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-18-23
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-18-23
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-18-23
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 2-20-23

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Grabs Top Spot on Redbox Disc Rental Chart

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took over the No. 1 spot on the Redbox disc rental chart the week ended Feb. 19. The sequel, which deals with Wakanda protecting itself from a hidden underwater kingdom in the wake of King T’Challa’s death, was released on disc Feb. 7 but didn’t make it to Redbox kiosks until Feb. 14.

The No. 1 Redbox On Demand title was Screen Media’s Poker Face, a thriller written by, directed by and starring Russell Crowe, who plays a wealthy art collector and gambler who, upon learning he’s dying of cancer, arranges a poker night with his buddies hoping to teach them a lesson for secretly slighting him, only for his house to be attacked by art thieves.

Screen Media’s The Locksmith, about a former prisoner (Ryan Phillippe) who is pulled back into a world of crime despite wanting to settle down with his detective girlfriend (Kate Bosworth) and their daughter, was No. 2 on the Redbox disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s thousands of red kiosks, and No. 3 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital VOD and sellthrough transactions. The film was the top digital title a week earlier, and is available early on disc through Redbox kiosks, as it won’t receive a wide disc release until March 14.

Universal’s M3GAN remained No. 2 on the Redbox On Demand chart in its penultimate week as a premium sellthrough and VOD release.

The No. 3 disc rental was Universal’s director Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans, about the family life of a young man who grows up wanting to be a filmmaker.

The previous week’s top disc rental, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Violent Night , slid to No. 4 on the disc chart, but appeared in the No. 8 spot on the digital chart. The actioner depicts a drunken Santa (David Harbour) who stumbles upon a mansion during an armed heist and must fight his way out.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s Black Adam slid to No. 5 on the Redbox disc rental chart, and was No. 7 on the digital chart.

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The No. 4 digital title was Lionsgate’s Plane, an actioner about a pilot (Gerard Butler) who saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island, and then must team with an accused murderer (Mike Colter) to free the passengers after they are taken hostage by dangerous rebels.

No. 5 on the digital chart and No. 9 on the disc chart was Universal Pictures’ Ticket to Paradise, the rom-com starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts as divorced parents trying to stop their lovestruck daughter from getting married.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 19:

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever  — Disney/Marvel
  2. The Locksmith — Screen Media
  3. The Fabelmans — Universal
  4. Violent Night — Universal
  5. Black Adam — Warner
  6. House Party (2023) — Warner
  7. Mindcage — Lionsgate
  8. Top Gun: Maverick — Paramount
  9. Ticket to Paradise — Universal
  10. Angry Neighbors — Lionsgate


Top Digital (VOD + Sellthrough), Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 19:

  1. Poker Face — Screen Media
  2. M3GAN — Universal
  3. The Locksmith — Screen Media
  4. Plane — Lionsgate
  5. Ticket to Paradise — Universal
  6. Alice, Darling — Lionsgate
  7. Black Adam — Warner
  8. Violent Night — Universal
  9. Fifty Shades of Grey — Universal
  10. Prey for the Devil — Lionsgate


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Home Video Releases the Week of Feb. 21 Include New Digital Versions of ‘M3GAN’ and ‘Puss in Boots,’ While ‘Empire of Light,’ ‘Station Eleven’ Arrive on Disc

The week of Feb. 21 finds two hits from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment getting a refresh at digital retailers after being available at premium rates for electronic sellthrough and VOD — Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and M3GAN.

Other new releases during the week include Empire of Light, Station Eleven, The Old Way, The Inspection and Running the Bases on disc, while Women Talking becomes available through digital retailers.

The regular digital release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, available Feb. 21 at digital retailers such as Vudu, Redbox On Demand and Amazon, is billed as a “special collector’s edition” that now includes over an hour of bonus content, including the all-new exclusive animated short The Trident, deleted scenes and a lyric video. DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” universe adventure earned nearly $170 million at the North American box office. It arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 28.

Universal’s regular digital release of M3GAN becomes available through online retailers Feb. 24 and includes a new unrated version of the film. Both the ‘PG-13′ and unrated cuts will also be available for streaming on Peacock. The creepy android girl thriller, which earned nearly $94 million in domestic theaters, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD March 21.

Orion Pictures’ Academy Award-nominated Women Talking, an adaptation of Miriam Toews’s internationally best-selling novel of the same name and inspired by true events, becomes available through digital retailers Feb. 21 from MGM. The film follows the women of an isolated religious community who grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith. The film has been nominated for two Oscars, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and was named one of the top 10 films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute. Written and directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Sarah Polley, Women Talking stars Academy Award winner Frances McDormand (Nomadland, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Critic’s Choice Award winner Rooney Mara (Carol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Emmy Award winner Claire Foy (“The Crown,” First Man), BAFTA Award winner Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter, Wild Rose), and Sheila McCarthy (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Sing) along with Emmy Award winner Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal,” No Time to Die). It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 7 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Empire of Light will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 21 from Disney and Searchlight Pictures. From director and writer Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall), Empire of Light is a drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times. Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, it follows Hilary (Olivia Colman), a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward), a new employee who longs to escape this provincial town in which he faces daily adversity. Both Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and come to experience the healing power of music, cinema and community. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography.

Based on the international best-seller by Emily St. John Mandel, the miniseries Station Eleven arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD Feb. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment. The three-disc collection includes all 10 episodes of the post-apocalyptic saga that spans multiple timelines, telling the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost. The series stars Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate), Himesh Patel (Don’t Look Up), Matilda Lawler (Flora & Ulysses), Lori Petty, David Wilmot (Anna Karenina), Daniel Zovatto, Nyambi Nyambi (“Mike and Molly”) and Nabhaan Rizwan (1917) with appearances from Gael Garcia Bernal, Danielle Deadwyler, David Cross and more.

The Nicolas Cage Western The Old Way arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, digital and on demand Feb. 21 from Lionsgate. Academy Award winner Cage (1995, Actor in a Leading Role, Leaving Las Vegas) stars in his first-ever Western,  directed by Brett Donowho (Acts of Violence, Salvation U.S.A.) and written by Carl W. Lucas (The Wave, My Name Is Myeisha). Cage stars as Colton Briggs, a cold-blooded gunslinger turned respectable family man. When an outlaw and his gang put Colton and his family in peril, Colton is forced to take up arms with an unlikely partner — his 12-year-old daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).

The drama The Inspection, which earned Jeremy Pope a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 21 from A24 and Lionsgate. In Elegance Bratton’s film inspired by his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life. 

The family faith drama Running the Bases will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 21 from Mill Creek Entertainment and Distribution Solutions. In the film, when a small-town baseball coach gets the offer of a lifetime from a larger 6A high school, he uproots his family and leaves the only home he’s ever known. But as a man of faith, he soon faces extreme opposition to his coaching methods from the school superintendent. The film stars Brett Varvel (The War Within, Miracle on Christmas, American Underdog), Gigi Orsillo (Hope for the Holidays, Still PitchingPursuit of Freedom), Todd Terry (“Breaking Bad,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul”) and Cameron Arnett (I Still Believe, Overcomer, and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”).

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Feb. 21 releases Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams, the latest film from director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name). The documentary, about the life of Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, who created shoes for stars and films during Hollywood’s silent era, will be available through digital retailers and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. Ferragamo began his career as a shoemaker before he was barely a teenager. In America, his work would soon help invent the glamour of Hollywood’s silent ear as he created shoes for iconic films and for such stars as Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. The film features commentary by Martin Scorsese, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Wanda Ferragamo. Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams was released under the Sony Pictures Classic banner. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2020. Before the premiere, Sony Pictures Classics acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film, excluding Italy.

The Korean comedic crime drama Broker is headed to Blu-ray Disc Feb. 21 from Decal Releasing, Neon and Distribution Solutions. In the film, two brokers who sell orphaned infants circumvent the bureaucracy of legal adoption. After an infant’s mother surprises the duo by returning to ensure her child finds a good home, the three embark on a journey to find the right couple. Broker stars Song Kang-ho (Parasite, Snowpiercer, The King’s Letters), Dong-won Gang (Peninsula, Master, Golden Slumber), Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas, “The Silent Sea”  TV series, “Stranger” TV series) and Lee Ji-eun (Hotel Del Luna, Dream, “Shades of My Heart” TV series).

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Shout! Factory and GKIDS Feb. 21 release the award-winning historical drama Giovanni’s Island on Blu-ray Disc and all major digital platforms. The hand-drawn film is from Production I.G., the studio behind Ghost in the Shell and The Deer King. Released in 2014, the feature film garnered 14 recognitions worldwide, including the Jury Distinction at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, both Children’s and Adult Jury Prizes at the 31st Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and the Satoshi Kon Award for best animated feature at the Fantasia Film Festival.  The film is centered on brothers Junpei and Kanta, who live in Shikotan, a tiny fishing island that has been spared from the devastations of World War II. The two children are named after Giovanni and Campanella from their late mother’s favorite book, Night on the Galactic Railroad, which becomes a source of solace in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat. When Soviet forces arrive with their families to settle in the island, Junpei meets Tanya, the daughter of the commander. Despite their language barrier and growing tension, the children soon form an unlikely friendship.

The 1987 Michelle Yeoh action film Magnificent Warriors is being released on Blu-ray Disc Feb. 21 from 88 Films and MVD Entertainment Group. International star, 2023 Best Actress Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) stars in this adventure set against the backdrop of World War II. Yeoh portrays a wisecracking mercenary pilot with a leather jacket, gun and bullwhip who sets aside personal greed to defend a small town and free its leader from the clutches of the invading Japanese army. In the finale, the town, armed only with spears and stones, rises up against the heavily fortified Japanese forces. Yeoh’s martial arts prowess, comedic flair, and dramatic skills are brought to bear in this follow-up to the classic Royal Warriors. The release features dubbed and subtitled soundtracks; a new 2K restoration from the original camera negatives; audio commentary with Asian cinema expert Frank Djeng; an interview with Yeoh; and an interview with Tung Wai.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the 1993 film The Remains of the Day on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on Feb. 21 for its 30th anniversary. Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins (1991, Best Actor, The Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (1992, Best Actress, Howards End) reunite with the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team for the moving story of blind devotion and repressed love. Hopkins stars as Stevens, the perfect English butler, an ideal carried by him to fanatical lengths as he serves his master Lord Darlington (James Fox, The Servant). Darlington, like many other members of the British establishment in the 1930s, is duped by the Nazis into trying to help them establish a rapport with the British government. Thompson stars as the estate’s housekeeper, a high-spirited, strong-minded young woman who watches the goings-on upstairs with horror. Despite her apprehensions, she and Stevens gradually fall in love, though neither will admit it, and only give vent to their charged feelings via fierce arguments. The feature is presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision approved by director James Ivory and Dolby Atmos audio + 5.1 + 2-Channel Surround.

Kino Lorber is readying a collection of 21 silent avant-garde films for release on Blu-ray Disc and digitally Feb. 21. The films span 102 years (the first was made in 1920; the most recent, in 2022) and have a combined run time of 188 minutes. Silent Avant-Garde features 21 short art film experiments in HD to 5K scans made from 35mm and 16mm picture elements. Highlights include brand new digital restorations of classic experimental films The Enchanted City (1922), Return to Reason (1923), Ballet Mechanique (1924, 1931), The Twenty-Four Dollar Island (1925), Eisenstein Mexican Footage (1930), Escape, Synchromy No. 4 (1938), The Eclipse (1936-1949), Look Park (1973), and Tenga fe (2022). Each film features original silent film music specially prepared, composed, improvised and/or performed by a master of experimental new music. Represented directors include Robert J. Flaherty, Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Alexandrov, Eduard Tisse, Rrose Sélavy (pseudonym for Marcel Duchamp), and Al Brick.

The family film Heart of a Champion will be available via on demand and digital sellthrough Feb. 21 from Saban Films. Starring Casper Van Dien, Edward Furlong and YaYa Gosselin, the film follows Charlie (Gosselin), a 14-year-old coping with the divorce of her parents, a new school and typical teenage growing pains who finds purpose and pride in a lost horse she cares for and trains for a state competition.

The Western thriller Bordello will be available via on demand Feb. 21 from Level 33 Entertainment. Set in 1889 New Mexico, the film follows five women working in a bordello in the Old West who struggle to protect Angel, the 7-year-old girl left in their care. Meanwhile, Madame Gabi, the wealthy but evil brothel owner arrives and offers the inept pimp Enoch a small fortune for Angel. The women feel they have no choice but to plot to murder Enoch in order to save Angel from a life of child prostitution. Bordello stars Kris Holden-Ried, Nisa Gunduz, Heidi von Palleske, Camille Stopps, Jessica Danecker, Jamie Elman and Taylor Thorne.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Marvel Studios’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Looks to Dominate President’s Day Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios’ latest franchise superhero actioner Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks to add to a strong 2023 box office start with projected debut weekend revenue exceeding $100 million through Feb. 19. The sequel to 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, also featuring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the title roles, sold $17.5 million in Thursday sneak preview ticket sales, according to Disney.

To exhibitors, Quantumania represents a notable follow-up to 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, Universal Pictures’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and M3GAN, which collectively have generated more than $440 million in North American revenue this year. The Way of Water is now the No. 4 all-time box office grossing release with $2.217 billion in global revenue.

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Returning box office releases over the weekend include The Last Wish, which is also available on PVOD and PEST (premium electronic sellthrough) with $5 million in additional ticket sales, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance ($4.6 million), The Way of Water ($4.5 million), Paramount Pictures’ Super Bowl-themed 80 for Brady ($4.3 million), which is also available on PVOD/PEST, the studio’s Titanic (25th Anniversary re-release) at $3.4 million, Universal’s Knock at the Cabin ($3.3 million) , and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s A Man Called Otto with $2.2 million in ticket sales.